You are probably wondering why Lidl is featuring in my healthy living blog and to be honest I’m not really sure where this particular blog is going to go, as I’ve got loads of thoughts running around in my head. It all started with the occurrence of what shall from here on in be known as the “Lidl Incident”. I was doing the weekly shop with my almost 2 year old in tow. It was just after lunch and really his nap time, but the shopping needed to be done (preferably before I picked up my daughter from school), so this was the time to do it. He wasn’t very happy about it and if you are a mum you know it’s the case of getting through it as quickly as possible. He was trailing me winging as he didn’t want to sit in the trolley or be picked up and I had just put some frozen roast potatoes into the trolley and he wanted to do it (or maybe I put them on the wrong side of the trolley – you can never tell… :)). Well you probably know the drill – temper tantrum coming (terrible twos in full swing). So I left him to have a shout and walked away (only a few meters that is) down the aisle. And a woman (probably in her 50s) from across the aisle asked in a very loud voice if I wasn’t going to see to my child and told me that I was a bad mother! Seriously?! I was quite lost for words! I did tell her how dare she get involved – she had no idea what was going on, what I had tried and that I knew how to deal with my son in that situation. Yes the crying probably annoyed her but what got to me was the accusation of me being a bad mother. Now I don’t want to have a rant about it. I feel secure in my parenting (and I know that I don’t always get it right – none of us do) and knew that in that situation all I could do was let him cry it out and come to me. But a comment like that to a person less confident and in a less balanced state of mind than me could have had a detrimental effect! And I don’t think she really thought about it. I am generally very aware of what I am saying to people and what kind of effect it can have on them (learned over time by trial and error). Words can cut very deep. Something you mentioned in passing another person can carry around with them for years! And this Lidl incident lead me to think about what effect our mental state, self confidence and self esteem has on our health. So I employed my favourite research method – type it into Google – and boy there is plenty of evidence that low self esteem can have a negative effect on your health. In many ways. Mainly caused by stress, anger and negative feelings we have about ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, we all have days when we feel some or all of those, but on a regular basis it’s unhealthy for your immune system, heart, diabetes and blood pressure. I’m sure that makes sense to everyone, but what to do when you suffer from low self-esteem and/or stress? Well I’ve found some helpful tips that I hope will benefit those of you out there that do suffer (in no particular order):
- Forgiveness. A very important thing. Forgive people that have hurt you. I don’t mean go and give them a hug, especially if they have done something really bad. You don’t have to start liking them to forgive them either. But make a physical effort to let the past be the past. Write them a letter to tell them how they have hurt you and that you forgive them and then burn it for example. Talk to someone about it. Imagine in your mind packaging the hurt up and handing it over to someone. Having a faith is really helpful here. Christianity is big on forgiveness, so pray with someone, but get some professional help if there is something really big you have to deal with.
- Praise – Record and keep a list of all those things you have achieved, from your biggest achievements to the smaller and less important ones. Congratulate yourself on them. That’s not being big headed but looking at yourself in a more positive light. Praise yourself when you do something good, however small.
- Be healthy – do something good for yourself and change some unhealthy habits. Like going on a cleanse, adding exercise to your daily routine or changing those crisps for a healthy snack. If you help your body to be healthier your mind can be healthier too. Congratulate yourself on those new healthy habits. Exercise is a great way of improving your happiness as it releases endorphins. Why not do something like couch to 5k. An easy to follow programme that can get you active and feeling good.
- Surround yourself with feel good people – Reduce the time you spend with people that constantly criticise you and impose a bad psychological pressure on you. Just avoid them for a while until you feel strong enough to stand up to them and tell them how you feel. Replace them with people that build you up and see the good in you, encourage you and are happy people. Happiness is generally contagious.
There are plenty more – so have a look at the NHS website on this. Some great tips and further links here. I’ve really just scratched the surface. https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Dealingwithlowself-esteem.aspx
What I really wanted to get across is – think about the words that come out of your mouth and how they affect people. And if you are one of those affected people – speak up for yourself, talk to someone and put people around you that will build you up rather than put you down.
I feel like this blog is a really garbled one this time. But I hope you still get the sentiment of this! 🙂